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January 31, 2006

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Noel Maurer

Cultural differences are interesting. Mexico City also has a stray dog problem, but the reason is that public services are still (with a few surprising exceptions) horribly inefficient. The public hates stray dogs. Some neighborhoods adopt well-behaved strays; most kill or terrorize them.

One neighborhood that I lived in inside the southern suburb of Tlalpan had a problem with dogs living in nearby park. By day, they were invisible; at night they would bark very threateningly at pedestrians. Since I often returned home at night, this was a problem.

Well, the fellows at the 24-hour taxi stand saw the dogs barking at me and shouted; the dogs scurried off. The next day, they gave me a stick, and told me to give the dogs a whack if they tried it again. I never had to. Merely raising the stick was enough to get them to run.

That is how terrorized stray dogs behave. Stray dogs, I surmise, are generally terrorized in urban environments in which the people are quite openly and happily brutal towards them, regardless of policy.

Yes, kill them all. And yes, it would be a good thing to have a well-funded public agency do it. Unfortunately, the problem in Romania seems to go deeper than inefficient and underfunded public services. If the public tolerates (even abets) strays, then the strays will behave badly, and won't go away anytime soon.

Oskar L.

Vigilantism - it may not be the democratic/right thing to do, but it sure feels nice.

carbonelle

I loved my dogs: I'll have more dogs again, in a year or two I hope. But yes: Kill them all; in the hard equations of Real Life, human lives are rather more valuable than dogs'

In the meantime: pepper sprays exist that are formulated just for dogs. The main point of interest is the scofield units (e.g how hot) rather than the percent-concentration.

Vlad

Disturbing indeed! We Romanians don't always take this problem (stray dogs) seriously enough and it comes a bit like a shock when someone slaps you in the face with it. I also remember Doug's take on this matter.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a dog lover, we have two german shepheards over at my parent's house but you'll never catch me feeding a stray dog. And yes, I think a quick and painless death is the solution to ridding the streets of them.

Kads

I am the wife of a Japanese diplomat who is moving to Bucharest in 10 days (no, not to replace the one killed by the dogs). I am also an avid dog lover. I have to agree with you, culling the dogs are really the best answer to this horrible, horrible situation. Now we will be greeted in the Embassy by the long faces of the grieving staff members-not to mention the family of the "almost murdered" Diplomat. What a heinous situation to be stepping into. This incident has blackened my once positive outlook on the city that is to be my home for the next few years.

claudia

Kads,

Please let me be the first to welcome you to Romania and Bucharest. Apart from the dog problem, and the unpleasant situation you are facing by arriving at this time, Bucharest is really a lovely place to be living. I would hate if I had given you a different impression.

Let me know if you need any further information/assistance. We have been living here for 2.5 years and I'd be happy to share my "wealth" of information with you. Don't hesitate to contact me, via email or by phone at 07xx.xxxxxx. (Real number delivered by private email.)

Best greetings from Bucharest,

Claudia

Csiki Andy

I agree with the cull approach - and I speak as (a) a Brit, and we're supposed to be even more dog-obsessed than Romanians; and (b) a vegetarian, which doesn't really have a relevance other than that I believe we have certain responsibilities towards animals.

However I have a couple of questions: I was under the impression that Basescu's big claim to fame as mayor of Bucharest was that he had dealt with the street dog problem. In fact, that's more or less anyone outside the capital knew about him during the election campaign. Does this mean he didn't deal with it? And what did he do, then?

Tommy

It's ridiculous that we came at this drastic measure, but we have no more choices anymore.It's ridiculous that the so called animal lovers are in fact those who abandoned them.Who abandoned so many dogs on the streets ? My fellow citizens.It's absurd and stupid that I have to walk every time with a pepper spray on me so I can survive dogs attacks.I shouldn't have to do that but I have no choice.It's a crazy world in Bucharest, populated with crazy and angry dogs.The animals are beginning to look and act a lot like their cohabitants, the romanians from the city of stray dogs.

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